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Thread: Attention law students

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    Question Attention law students

    hey peeps.
    so heres a more comprehensive thread that I WILL NOT DELETE.
    a little about me:

    i am interested in the field of law as i am passionate about justice for all and about defending those who may not have a voice. sounds cliche but i look up to Amal Clooney and would fulfill my dream of interning at the UN (crazy, right?. i know, believe me).

    so, please i ask for your honest opinions, feedback and recommendations as to:
    1. why did you choose law?
    2. where do you see yourself in your future career?

    i want each person reading this to know that sharing this information is very personal to me and i am doing this to gain the honest opinions of all of you.

    thankyou once again,
    jelena_nina2001
    xo
    Last edited by jelena_nina2001; 15 Oct 2018 at 8:21 PM.

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    Re: Attention law students

    1) When you are deciding whether to study law, think about both the immediate and long-term context. I enjoyed legal studies and debating, I enjoyed essay writing and problem solving, and I also like reading. I'm in third year, and so far law has turned out to be nothing like legal studies. We don't look at human rights issues or broader debates (as of yet), but do a lot of reading and discussion about the development of law and policy arguments in both the public (e.g. contracts, property) and private (e.g. government) sphere. You won't be studying international law until at least your fourth year. Looking at the long-term, I wanted to do law because I feel that it is a way to contribute in some meaningful way to society. There will be opportunities for you to volunteer at legal clinics that focus on protecting refugees, those with disabilities, and the underprivileged in general from your second/third year onwards depending on your grades and extracurriculars. This is a lot more realistic than interning at the UN, and a better opportunity to enact real change in your own community. I too aspired to be like Amal Clooney, but the reality really isn't that glamorous unfortunately. Think more so along the lines of reading pages of case law riddled with tricky concepts that seem insanely confusing, but once you get it, it feels pretty great.

    2) I have absolutely no idea, I have really enjoyed subjects like contracts and administrative law this year. You aren't going to have a solid career path figured out for a while, but no one expects you to. Just try to get as much work experience as you can and study hard to open doors up for yourself

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    Re: Attention law students

    Quote Originally Posted by miaoww View Post
    1) When you are deciding whether to study law, think about both the immediate and long-term context. I enjoyed legal studies and debating, I enjoyed essay writing and problem solving, and I also like reading. I'm in third year, and so far law has turned out to be nothing like legal studies. We don't look at human rights issues or broader debates (as of yet), but do a lot of reading and discussion about the development of law and policy arguments in both the public (e.g. contracts, property) and private (e.g. government) sphere. You won't be studying international law until at least your fourth year. Looking at the long-term, I wanted to do law because I feel that it is a way to contribute in some meaningful way to society. There will be opportunities for you to volunteer at legal clinics that focus on protecting refugees, those with disabilities, and the underprivileged in general from your second/third year onwards depending on your grades and extracurriculars. This is a lot more realistic than interning at the UN, and a better opportunity to enact real change in your own community. I too aspired to be like Amal Clooney, but the reality really isn't that glamorous unfortunately. Think more so along the lines of reading pages of case law riddled with tricky concepts that seem insanely confusing, but once you get it, it feels pretty great.

    2) I have absolutely no idea, I have really enjoyed subjects like contracts and administrative law this year. You aren't going to have a solid career path figured out for a while, but no one expects you to. Just try to get as much work experience as you can and study hard to open doors up for yourself
    thank you so much i truly appreciate the feedback. Hahaha i know the UN seems far-fetched.i have not done legal studies for hsc so would i be ok at law at uni?

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    Re: Attention law students

    In my final year of a combined Commerce/Law degree.

    1. why did you choose law?
    I initially saw Commerce as my primary degree and Law as my 'complementary' degree so to speak. Always wanted to do combined Commerce (loved Economics and Business Studies in high school but did not do Legal Studies). In Business Studies, I found legal concepts, such as 'misleading and deceptive conduct' in the Marketing topic and dispute resolution (negotiation, mediation, arbitration, etc.) in the Human Resources topic, to be interesting.

    2. where do you see yourself in your future career?
    - In my first two years, I saw myself going into a career in business (in particularly, accounting).
    - In my third and fourth years, I had some 'legal experience' (volunteering in a community legal centre and the 'legal' team of a not-for-profit). Developed an appreciation of law in practice and wanted to pursue a legal career from this point.
    - In my fourth year (penultimate year), I applied for summer clerkships with commercial law firms. Got nothing. For the summer, I was fortunate enough to do an internship at an accounting firm instead.
    - In my fifth year (final year), I applied for graduate positions with commercial law firms. Luckily got a graduate offer.

    If I got nothing from my law graduate applications, I most likely would have pursued an initial career in tax accounting (with the intention of going to the tax practice of law firms later). Anyways, I'll be starting a graduate role at a commercial law firm next year.

    So why commercial law firms for me personally? Even though I liked the idea of practising law, I still loved 'business' in general. Luckily for me, commercial law made sense as it combines my two interests.
    Is commercial law only for Commerce/Law students? No. You'll find that a lot of lawyers in commercial law firms have an Arts/Law background for example. From experience funnily enough, I think I've actually met more commercial lawyers who did Arts/Law than Commerce/Law.

    Of course, it'll be different for you e.g. you have an interest in working for the UN (so things like human rights and social justice might appeal to you more).

    Main pieces of advice in figuring out what you want to do later on:
    - Expose yourself to as many experiences as you can, whether it's work experience or extracurricular activities. It helps you not only figure out what you like but also helps you eliminate things that you don't like.
    - While it's good to have particular interests, do consider different legal and non-legal career options. (1) It helps you make an informed choice; (2) You might realise that your passions lie elsewhere (perhaps not even a legal career); and (3) The law graduate job market is not particularly great so it's good to have alternatives.
    - Can't stress the importance of marks/grades if you're planning to enter the legal profession. Definitely try to keep up good marks in law school.
    Last edited by RivalryofTroll; 8 Oct 2018 at 11:02 PM.
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    Re: Attention law students

    Quote Originally Posted by RivalryofTroll View Post
    In my final year of a combined Commerce/Law degree.

    1. why did you choose law?
    I initially saw Commerce as my primary degree and Law as my 'complementary' degree so to speak. Always wanted to do combined Commerce (loved Economics and Business Studies in high school but did not do Legal Studies). In Business Studies, I found legal concepts, such as 'misleading and deceptive conduct' in the Marketing topic and dispute resolution (negotiation, mediation, arbitration, etc.) in the Human Resources topic, to be interesting.

    2. where do you see yourself in your future career?
    - In my first two years, I saw myself going into a career in business (in particularly, accounting).
    - In my third and fourth years, I had some 'legal experience' (volunteering in a community legal centre and the 'legal' team of a not-for-profit). Developed an appreciation of law in practice and wanted to pursue a legal career from this point.
    - In my fourth year (penultimate year), I applied for summer clerkships with commercial law firms. Got nothing. For the summer, I was fortunate enough to do an internship at an accounting firm instead.
    - In my fifth year (final year), I applied for graduate positions with commercial law firms. Luckily got a graduate offer.

    If I got nothing from my law graduate applications, I most likely would have pursued an initial career in tax accounting (with the intention of going to the tax practice of law firms later). Anyways, I'll be starting a graduate role at a commercial law firm next year.

    So why commercial law firms for me personally? Even though I liked the idea of practising law, I still loved 'business' in general. Luckily for me, commercial law made sense as it combines my two interests.
    Is commercial law only for Commerce/Law students? No. You'll find that a lot of lawyers in commercial law firms have an Arts/Law background for example. From experience funnily enough, I think I've actually met more commercial lawyers who did Arts/Law than Commerce/Law.

    Of course, it'll be different for you e.g. you have an interest in working for the UN (so things like human rights and social justice might appeal to you more).

    Main pieces of advice in figuring out what you want to do later on:
    - Expose yourself to as many experiences as you can, whether it's work experience or extracurricular activities. It helps you not only figure out what you like but also helps you eliminate things that you don't like.
    - While it's good to have particular interests, do consider different legal and non-legal career options. (1) It helps you make an informed choice; (2) You might realise that your passions lie elsewhere (perhaps not even a legal career); and (3) The law graduate job market is not particularly great so it's good to have alternatives.
    - Can't stress the importance of marks/grades if you're planning to enter the legal profession. Definitely try to keep up good marks in law school.
    thankyou so much for the personal insights. I wish you all the best of luck in the future and once again thankyou so much and i will take your information on board

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    Magniloquent Member strawberrye's Avatar
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    Re: Attention law students

    1. why did you choose law?
    I initially chose law because I was interested in social justice, never studied it in high school, always liked English and felt it was a good area to explore. Around 2 years into my 5 year combined law degree, I began to be very interested in thinking about the law, about both sides of the argument and learning about different areas of the law-hence why I stayed in it and this is the last semester of my degree.

    2. where do you see yourself in your future career?
    I think having got a grad offer at a commercial law firm, I will probably stay in it for at least a few years or even longer. Hoping to perhaps become senior associate one day, not sure about partner. Might go into consulting in the future or perhaps adopt more dramatic career moves, who knows, the world is a really big place and I don't even know which area of law I want to settle in yet. Potentially going back to uni and doing some further studies to upskill myself. But I think regardless of where my future career goes, I hope I will be challenged by the work I do and be able to contribute to something positive-whether it be solving other people's problems, helping others-i.e. through doing some free legal work. But above all, I hope I can achieve a balance between living life and advancing my career and not compromise one over the other.
    BLIT2014 likes this.

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    Re: Attention law students

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrye View Post
    1. why did you choose law?
    I initially chose law because I was interested in social justice, never studied it in high school, always liked English and felt it was a good area to explore. Around 2 years into my 5 year combined law degree, I began to be very interested in thinking about the law, about both sides of the argument and learning about different areas of the law-hence why I stayed in it and this is the last semester of my degree.

    2. where do you see yourself in your future career?
    I think having got a grad offer at a commercial law firm, I will probably stay in it for at least a few years or even longer. Hoping to perhaps become senior associate one day, not sure about partner. Might go into consulting in the future or perhaps adopt more dramatic career moves, who knows, the world is a really big place and I don't even know which area of law I want to settle in yet. Potentially going back to uni and doing some further studies to upskill myself. But I think regardless of where my future career goes, I hope I will be challenged by the work I do and be able to contribute to something positive-whether it be solving other people's problems, helping others-i.e. through doing some free legal work. But above all, I hope I can achieve a balance between living life and advancing my career and not compromise one over the other.
    thankyou very much english is also my favourite ubject and can see many similarities between us already. you have honestly opened my eyes upto a new realm of thinking about the future, thankyou very much x

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    Dyslexic Fish hfis's Avatar
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    Re: Attention law students

    I have been a lawyer for a while. I won't answer your questions in the way you've put them, but I hope this helps.

    I originally chose law because I was good at English and nothing else really interested me. A lot of your cohort will be the same. You generally encounter students like this, students with the same motivation as you've expressed here, and then that rare set who (for some unknown and frankly bizarre reason) have always wanted to do law, perhaps for family reasons.

    Your motivation is good, even if it's rather common. Here's the thing though - what you want to do with your degree (or if you even finish your degree, or transfer) will change once, twice or many times throughout your time at uni. You might come out the other end wanting to be a corporate litigator. Your practical experience during these years will help determine where you go, and your first job after uni will help shape your area of specialisation.

    If you want to help others, and you keep that motivation, most suburban practices will provide a rewarding set of tasks for you. Anything to do with family and criminal law especially will expose you to the coalface. If you want to truly help those in need, you can do the same work for slightly less money in the community legal sector. You have much more of a chance of working in fields such as this than you do of obtaining a position at the UN, but the point is that your motivation is one capable of satisfaction provided you don't hang your hat on the UN or similar prestige.

    Just do it, you'll either like it or you won't. You don't even need to know what you want to do with it, you'll figure it out eventually if it's right for you. Worked for me.
    BLIT2014 likes this.
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    Re: Attention law students

    Quote Originally Posted by hfis View Post
    I have been a lawyer for a while. I won't answer your questions in the way you've put them, but I hope this helps.

    I originally chose law because I was good at English and nothing else really interested me. A lot of your cohort will be the same. You generally encounter students like this, students with the same motivation as you've expressed here, and then that rare set who (for some unknown and frankly bizarre reason) have always wanted to do law, perhaps for family reasons.

    Your motivation is good, even if it's rather common. Here's the thing though - what you want to do with your degree (or if you even finish your degree, or transfer) will change once, twice or many times throughout your time at uni. You might come out the other end wanting to be a corporate litigator. Your practical experience during these years will help determine where you go, and your first job after uni will help shape your area of specialisation.

    If you want to help others, and you keep that motivation, most suburban practices will provide a rewarding set of tasks for you. Anything to do with family and criminal law especially will expose you to the coalface. If you want to truly help those in need, you can do the same work for slightly less money in the community legal sector. You have much more of a chance of working in fields such as this than you do of obtaining a position at the UN, but the point is that your motivation is one capable of satisfaction provided you don't hang your hat on the UN or similar prestige.

    Just do it, you'll either like it or you won't. You don't even need to know what you want to do with it, you'll figure it out eventually if it's right for you. Worked for me.
    thanks so much rlly appreciate and can relate

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